Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google are now damaged brands. And now, as of January 2021, Amazon is now included in this list.
Their outright censorship of right-wing voices, Trump supporters, and their attempt to influence the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election is, in my opinion, criminal and should be investigated and prosecuted.
That likely won’t happen. But their actions aren’t without consequence.
They have alienated a very large number of their users and their bottom line is taking a hit. Last week, Twitter’s stock dropped 20%. People with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are looking for social media platforms that will allow them to speak their minds freely without fear of deplatforming, “fact-checkers” covering or outright deleting their posts, and in YouTube’s case, demonitizing their accounts causing them to lose a revenue stream.
I’ll bet if you share this article on Facebook or Twitter, you would find it flagged by a “fact-checker.” (I’m removing the traditional social media sharing buttons because I’m boycotting them).
So where does one go to stay connected to friends and family, promote business content, and share videos without fear of censorship?
Let me show you what I found:
Parler is considered the “Facebook Alternative.” The platform promises not to censor content other than that which is illegal or overtly sexual in nature.
I created a personal Parler account to try it out. I like it! It’s easy to use, accounts can be set to public (everyone can see it) or private (only followers can see it).
I’m a private person, and one feature I like is that you don’t have to use your real name (Facebook tries to enforce the use of real names), and you can’t see other peoples’ “followers” list. You can only see your own.
Unlike Facebook, a personal account is not required to have a business account. It looks like only one account per phone number is allowed, though, so a decision will need to be made about whether the account created is to be for personal use or for promoting a business.
Parler is growing like crazy and will be a good platform for promoting a business.
UPDATE 1/27/2021: As I’m sure you know, Parler was deplatformed by Amazon Web Services. AWS claims Parler was used to plan the insurgence at the Capitol Building in Washington DC. It doesn’t look like Parler will be back.
MeWe promises no ads and no spyware. I really like that because I think it’s pretty intrusive to see ads on Facebook pop up for things I just searched or purchased online. MeWe makes it easy to invite friends to join up with a personal link you can send to people through text, email or even post on other social media to ask them over. You don’t have to use your real name on MeWe.
This platform has won a lot of awards and it’s very easy to use. I do kind of cringe at the somewhat “kiddie” feel it has until you get your avatar and cover photo loaded. The default avatars look like cartoons off of kids’ cereal boxes.
MeWe functions well and I think it’s a great alternative to Facebook for personal social media use. The jury’s still out on using MeWe to promote a business. After I’ve used it longer and get better acquainted with it, I’ll update this post.
Minds looks pretty cool.
It also promises no censorship other than that which is illegal or overtly sexual in nature. In fact, Minds is making an effort to extract itself from the influence of Big Tech. They aren’t as successful as they’d like to be in that endeavor due to the hardship of doing business, but I appreciate the effort.
Accounts can be monetized for not only dollars but for the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Etherium. There is also a tool for migrating YouTube videos to the Minds video platform.
Minds+ is a paid feature offering access to premium videos, the ability to charge for content, to hide boosted content (no ads), a Minds + badge to place on the account, and identity verification.
Minds has the feel of being a more professional, intellectual, and academic platform. It doesn’t feel like the kind of place to connect with family and friends, but more like a LinkedIn alternative. I don’t have an account there, but I’m considering creating an account for Sage Content Marketing.
There are quite a few video platforms other than YouTube. Vimeo (which censors about as badly as YouTube), Bitchute, Dailymotion, Minds video platform, and LBRY.tv to name a few.
After looking them over, and even trying a couple, I like Rumble the best.
I created an account and uploaded a few videos to Bitchute just in time for them to be deplatformed by their server. I don’t know what their plan is, but I can’t upload any more videos.
UPDATE: 12/11/2020 Bitchute is back up. I still have a channel there, but it gets no engagement. Bitchute is fine for personal videos, but as a business, I’m getting no engagement there. Rumble is doing pretty well and I’m going to focus on that platform for my business videos.
I tried LBRY.tv, which switched its video platform to Odyssee.com, and I was unable to upload any videos. I kept getting an error message and I couldn’t understand at all their wallet.
Rumble looks really great, is easy to use, and is partly owned by Dan Bongino who, as a part-owner, promises to protect free speech (other than what is illegal or overtly sexual).
Videos on Rumble can be monetized and licensed, meaning a license to use a video produced by a creator on the platform can be obtained for use in content for a small fee. I like this licensing feature because it’s clear what content can and cannot be used by other content creators. With YouTube, there are always questions about use.
I think all three of these platforms unless they change and begin censoring like the others, are good places to enjoy sharing with friends and family and engaging with customers.
If you’re promoting your business right now on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube and have a good following, don’t delete your accounts. Give these platforms a try and build a following there as well. Then, if you decide to move from Big Tech to any of these alternate platforms, you won’t hurt your business.